How to eat an Ugli Fruit

Elizabeth loves sports and healthy food.  Sometimes, particularly in the car, she will want to list all the foods that we can think of that are healthy.  I would define her diet as that of two extremes: she’s almost on a raw foods diet, except for her love of bacon, ham and pork.  Really, she eats other things too, but she LOVES fresh fruits and veggies and is very interested in them.  She is interested, at 5, in having a healthy lifestyle, and has been for a number of years, as a matter of fact.  For a long time too, if anything was suggestive of sports, she loved it.  It’s definitely a little odd to see such a young child so interested in a healthy lifestyle, but it’s wonderful too.

With this in mind, one book that we regularly read is Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert, which is filled to the max with fresh fruits and veggies – right up Elizabeth’s alley.  The pictures are bright, and the book reinforces the alphabet.

The fruit featured for the letter U is the ugli fruit (actually pronounced “oog-lee fruit” in Jamaica where it originates), and Elizabeth is quite interested in this as it has such an interesting name.  I found some at the store the other day and she asked if we could get one (generally, she pushes her own kid-sized cart around in this store, and it is filled with fresh produce and cans of olives – the special things she is getting for her and Brother. 🙂 )  Since she is requesting healthy foods, how can I say no; so I said yes.


Our ugli fruit before I peeled it.

Today we tried it.  I had to look up how to eat an ugli fruit on the iPad first.  Apparently it can just be peeled and eaten like an orange, since it is a citrus fruit.


Peeling the ugli fruit

One can also juice it, or slice it through the equator and sprinkle sugar on top as you would a grapefruit since it’s flavor is a little bitter.  We chose to just peel it, and then pull the pulp out of the membranes because they are pretty tough.


Peeled. You can see how the membranes are pretty thick.

The fruit, which is imported here in New York and may not have been picked at it’s peak (a fortunate and unfortunate custom I became used to while in the Peace Corps because now I only want peak-picked produce – say that 5 times fast), was too bitter for me to eat, but Elizabeth ate half of it, which is actually pretty impressive because it was pretty big.

I remember doing special Around-The-World celebrations that included foods like star fruit and kiwi when I was in school, I hope that my continued support in trying new things allows Elizabeth to makes those kinds of memories too.  Next up, a persimmon maybe?  I’ve never had one of those.

Share your thoughts: What fun foods have you tried with your kids?


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